Never Wait To Dry Your Knives After Cleaning. Here's Why

After a long session of scrubbing the gunk off your dishes, the last thing you want to do is grab a towel and thoroughly dry every single one. In this situation, a lot of us are tempted to let our kitchenware air-dry on an open dish rack. While the majority of your plates and cups should be fine when dried this way, holding off on drying your kitchen knives could cause irreparable damage to them.

When you leave your knives out to air-dry, you expose their delicate blades to excess moisture for a prolonged period of time. Water naturally corrodes iron and steel, which leads to rusting in the form of flaky, red-brown oxidation on the blades. Even if visible rust doesn't show up, water exposure can decay and dull your knife over time, which makes it harder to cut food. If you apply too much force to a dull knife to make it cut through food, you could even injure yourself.

Make sure to wipe your knives dry immediately after washing, with the sharp side of their blades facing away from you in order to avoid any injuries. Once your knives are perfectly dry and ready to be put away, make sure to never store them in a drawer, as their blades can easily get dulled or damaged if not sheathed or given enough space in storage.

Your knife's handle can also be damaged

The blades are not the only thing that can get damaged when you let your knives air-dry. Depending on what material they're made of, your knife handles can also face issues. If the handles are made of metal, they're prone to rusting just like the blades are. This problem becomes even worse if you leave your knife in the sink for a long time before washing it. Salt and acid from food particles can further accelerate the formation of rust on the blade and handle.

Wooden handles fare no better against moisture. Wood expands when exposed to water for extended periods of time, which can deform or even split the wood around your knife handle. This makes the handle hard to hold and prone to breaking, which is the last thing you want when working with a sharp knife. To make your knives last longer and ensure that they remain comfortable and sturdy to use, always thoroughly dry their handles and blades by hand. A little wood polishing oil can also go a long way in helping your wooden knife handles stay pristine.

Whatever you do, do not put your knives in the dishwasher

Dishwashers leave your bowls and cups spotless without requiring any elbow grease, but when it comes to the important knives in your kitchen arsenal, the dishwasher does far more harm than good. A dishwasher efficiently cleans by blasting scalding-hot water, along with your choice of a powerful detergent, all over your cookware. Even if your knives are labeled as dishwasher-safe, their blades can be easily chipped and scratched by the high temperatures and corrosive soaps utilized in the cleaning process. 

Furthermore, wooden kitchenware never belongs on the dishwasher, and that includes wooden knife handles. These handles can lose their protective coating due to the searing heat inside the washer, which can lead to cracks in the wood and other irreparable damage over time. It's best to carefully scrub kitchen knives with a soft sponge in order to avoid any scratching, and remember to dry them as soon as possible before storing them.